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THE PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA

GEOGRAPHY
by

Brad Hayes

on 23 July 2012

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Transcript of THE PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA

CHAPTER 7
The Physical Geography of the U.S. and Canada
LANDFORMS
The U.S. and Canada share the same landforms
BASIC LANDFORMS
Western (Coastal) Mountain Ranges Great Basin and The Rockies
Along the Pacific Coastline of the U.S. and Canada are the PACIFIC RANGES
THE PACIFIC RANGES AND ROCKIES
The Great Basin
PHYSICAL REGIONS OF NORTH AMERICA
PLAINS AREAS
Just East of the Rockies are the GREAT PLAINS
EASTERN MOUNTAINS
AND COASTAL PLAINS
The Appalachian Mountains lie east of the Great Plains
The boundary between the Piedmont and the coastal plain is known as a fall line.

Due to water "FALLS" early settlers noted that small ships could easily reach the fall line from the ocean but could not sail past it.

As a result, many early settlements formed along the line.

The tumbling waters of the fall line were also used to turn the waterwheels that powered early industries.

Inland ports along the fall line, like Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, became important transportation points for goods from these and other industries.
Barrier Islands – coastal islands
created from sand deposited by
ocean waves and currents in
shallow water
http://www.trailquest.net/thruhike.html
Hiking the Appalachian Trail
WATER SYSTEMS
All water systems are divided by the CONTINENTAL DIVIDE
RIVERS AND LAKES
The Appalachians
MINNEAPOLIS
ST. LOUIS
MEMPHIS
NEW ORLEANS
The Colorado carved the
GRAND CANYON.

It is also home to the HOOVER
DAM
The Rio Grande forms the US/Mexico
Border in Texas
The Missouri is actually longer
than the Mississippi, but not as large.
It is the largest tributary of the Mississippi.
Climates and Biomes
Climate Types of North America
tropical wet and dry
very tip of Florida, western Hawaii
humid subtropical
southeast United States
humid continental
northeastern United States and southeastern Canada
semiarid
Great Plains, western mountains
arid
areas east of Sierra Nevada and Cascades
marine west coast
southern Alaska through northern California
Mediterranean
southern and central California
tropical humid
eastern Hawaii
tundra
across northern Alaska to Newfoundland and Quebec
subarctic
northern Canada and Alaska
Natural Resources
Energy resources
• Large coal reserves
• Major oil producer
• Rich in natural gas
Mineral resources
•Iron, nickel, zinc, uranium, lead, copper, gold, and silver in Canada and US

Water resources
•Irrigation and hydroelectricity
•Rich fisheries along coasts
Forest resources
• Canada--leading producers and exporters of lumber
Agricultural resources
• Good climates for farming
• Fertile soils
• Enough food to feed population + surplus
Resources of North America
Some Climate Terms
Blizzards-Snowstorms with winds above 35 mph
Hurricanes-Large super-storm with winds above 74 mph
Typhoons-Same thing as a hurricane, only in the Pacific Ocean
Tornadoes- Winds up to 300 mph--More in the US than anywhere in the world
Chinook- warm winds that blow down the slopes of the Rockies, melting snow

SOME CLIMATE TERMS
The St. Lawrence connects the
Great Lakes to the Atlantic
The Yukon played a major role in
the GOLD RUSH in Alaska
Major rivers of the U.S. and Canada include:

Mississippi (largest)

Colorado

Rio Grande

Missouri

Yukon

St. Lawrence

Major Lakes include:
The Great Lakes
Great Salt Lake, Great Bear Lake,
Great Slave Lake
Low, smooth mountains in the East
Rolling plains in the Center
Big, Rugged Mountains in the West
The PIEDMONT is the natural border between the plains and mountains
To the east and south of these mountains lie COASTAL PLAINS
Georgia to Quebec, Canada
Old, eroded, not very tall
Second longest mountain range in N. America
Some of the oldest rocks in the world are here.
THIS IS THE CANADIAN SHIELD
North of these Plains, Glaciers scraped away the soil, leaving a barren, rocky land.
This is where most of the agriculture of the U.S. and Canada takes place
Sometimes called the High Plains because the elevation is over 6000 ft.
Stretches more than 3000 miles and as tall as 12000 ft.
Tallest and longest range in N. America
East of these Ranges are the ROCKY MOUNTAINS
Includes the Alaska, Coast, Cascade, and Sierra Nevada Ranges
Rivers west of the divide flow towards the Pacific
Rivers east of the divide flow towards the Atlantic
Mt. McKinley in Alaska--Tallest US mountain
Transportation
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